Botshabelo Unemployed Movement (B.U.M) is an organisation of unemployed people within the Free State Province. B.U.M’s offices are in Section E at number 1230, in the building of Botshabelo Multifunctional Centre (B.M.C) in Botshabelo village.
Botshabelo Unemployed Movement runs many campaigns such as the anti-austerity campaign. The movement is also part of campaigns to fight poverty in the city of Botshabelo by actively participating in agriculture. Th Botshabelo Unemployed Movement has worked on agricultural issues for a long time but in 2022 it was given the opportunity to build an Agroecology Hub by the Trust for Community Outreach and Education (TCOE). The B.U.M Agroecology Hub has a team who oversees the hub’s day to day activities. The people working in the B.U.M Hub are eight in number, five of them are mothers and three are fathers.
Sebata Lebohang Morata is one of the students at the Hub and a resident of Botshabelo. The 49-year-old Morata says that he appreciates the opportunity that TCOEA has given him to be part of the Agroecology Hub (AE-Hub) in his village. He explained how the first step in the implementation process has awakened his love for agriculture. Morata adds that as they work with the land, there will be more job opportunities for unemployed youth. The B.U.M Hub has brought change to the life of Matshediso Moholo who is volunteer at the hub. The 29 year old Moholo says that as a young woman, she will take the opportunity to work in hub to fight poverty that was worsened by the Covid pandemic. “Times have changed. It’s time for young women to stand up because we know that women are the pillars of the communities,” says Moholo.
Bobohang Molefe who is an expert at the B.U.M AE Hub said he would like to thank everyone who is working so hard at the hub. A variety of vegetables, fruits and herbs are available at the hub. Molefe says that through this project they have helped 58 families with seeds for their household gardens. Molefe says that through this work in agriculture, the movement will be able to achieve great things and provide training to the families that seeds were distributed to. “I would like to encourage women and young people to invest in agriculture because it is the backbone of our country,” Molefe added.
Botshabelo Agroecology Hub’s mission is to see local food systems back in the control of the people and to fight poverty. There is no time to sleep when you are a farmer! The hub has taught young people to be proud of their minds and work with their hands. This hub will fight for development within the city of Botshabelo and the province as a whole, and has assisted B.U.M to grow further.